LONDON -- What country chews the most gum? If you guessed the United States, you're wrong. The distinction of biggest chewing gum chewers goes to the Middle East, specifically Iran, followed closely by Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is a distant third when it comes to chewing gum consumption.
This research was conducted by London-based marketing firm Kantar Media's Global Target Group Index division as part of a series called Factoids. The purpose of the initiative is to provide "bit-sized" pieces of information for brand managers.
According to the study, 82% of Iranians chew gum followed closely by Saudi Arabia, where 79% of its population takes part. In the U.S., 59% of the population chews gum.
However, a custom among small shops of handing out chewing gum instead of change to customers may play a significant role in determining the numbers.
"Competition is fierce amongst chewing gum brands," explained Tracy Allnutt, head of commercial development at Global TGI. "Our Factoid research gives marketers brief overviews of how they should shape their branding strategies by region."
The global breakdown of gum chewers paints an interesting picture of the chewing habits around the world:
» Iran, 82%
» Saudi Arabia, 79%
» United States, 59%
» Spain, 54%
» France, 52%
» Poland, 50%
» Great Britain, 44%
» South Africa, 43%
» Hungary, 49%
» Malaysia, 18%
» Thailand, 16%